There is much disappointment in Steeler Nation this week following the team's, 20-3, loss at the hands of the very impressive San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park Monday Night.
Heading into the weekend, I was prepared for a loss, not necessarily because I thought San Fran was that great, but because of the many key injuries that the Steelers were dealing with after their Thursday night game 10 days earlier against the Browns.
But the way things unfolded last Sunday with the Ravens and Texans losing, I admit, I awoke Monday morning feeling pretty excited about the prospects of the Steelers gaining control of, not only the AFC North, but homefield advantage all throughout the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Monday night's showing by the Steelers left a lot to be desired, and now the team is back in the same boat it was in before the weekend. There's no doubt that I'm disappointed in what transpired Monday night, but I still find myself pretty happy today because I know that the Steelers clinched a playoff berth even before their lethargic Monday night showing. And I know that regardless of how the rest of the regular season unfolds, I'll get to experience the anticipation of at least one playoff game.
I said pretty much the same thing last year after the Steelers clinched a playoff berth, but I'll repeat it: no matter how many times the Steelers have made the playoffs in my lifetime (they're up to 26 appearances in my 39 years on this planet), it just never gets old.
I know the Steelers are facing some pretty tough odds as they more than likely will wind up with the 5th seed, but it sure beats the heck out of the alternative.
After their previous two Super Bowl appearances, the Steelers missed the playoffs, and I don't know about you, but the '09 season was maybe the most frustrating I've ever experienced as a fan. I thought Pittsburgh was good enough to repeat as champions, and there they were sitting at home with everyone else. If there's one thing worse than your team not making the playoffs, it's seeing them fail to make it a year after providing you with the ultimate high.
So, while their seed might not be ideal, they're still in the dance. I don't agree with Ray Lewis a lot, but as he said, making the playoffs is the number one agenda.
The Steelers made it again! It just never gets old.